We visited here this Spring (September 2012) to see the Tulips that had been planted throughout the gardens. A camera is a must.
Other flowers are also planted and wildflowers grow naturally to the side of the paths making for great photos.
Small creeks and ponds flow around the park with open grounds to sit or play with family or you can sit under the shade of trees to enjoy your meals. Free electric barbecues are provided with fixed tables and benches at the main area.
A small imitation train drives around the paths of the park adding fun for the kids.
Best to arrive a couple of hours before 12 noon as it soon was quite crowded and it was good we had finished our lunch and had started enjoying the gardens after. Not sure how it is if you arrive in the afternoon. Opening Times are 9am to 6 pm. Entry fees are reasonable: Adults $4, Family $10 (2 adults and up to 6 children)
I would recommend to bring your own food and drinks whether prepared or to be cooked on the barbecue. This is the reason I only gave it 3/5 in ratings because the gardens are 4/5. There is a Tearoom but when we were there the outdoor veranda seating was taken and mainly they serve just tea, coffee and cakes. A restaurant would be great for those who may have arrived on a tourist bus or for those who do not want to lug an esky around. I must admit I was expecting more when it came to catering for people in regards to eating.
It is a very pleasant drive through the Darling Range to get there (about 1 hour from the city) and we had a very enjoyable day with our friends and I would recommend it. You can visit the Araluen Botanic Garden website for any special events they may have throughout the year.
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